What is hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is a routine operation to replace the parts of the hip causing problems or pain and replace them with new parts.

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint which usually gives us a wide range of movement in all directions and is able to take our body weight without any pain or discomfort. The ball is located at the top of the thigh bone (the femoral head) and fits snugly into the socket in the pelvis. Over time, the surface of the ball and socket can wear away or become damaged, causing pain and limiting mobility. The most common reason for needing hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis but there are other reasons such as a hip fracture or hip dysplasia. Nearly 80,000 people have hip replacements every year in the UK with an average stay in hospital of 1 – 3 days.

In hip replacement surgery, the parts of the hip causing problems are replaced with new parts, usually made from metal, plastic or ceramic. There are a few types of hip available on the NHS and privately so it is worth taking some time to understand the pros and cons of the main types of hips, and deciding which is most suitable for you.

what is hip replacement surgery

Most hip replacements are total hip replacements where the ball and socket are both replaced. The most common joint is made of a metal ball with a plastic socket, while a ceramic ball with a plastic or a ceramic socket are also popular, especially with younger and/or more active people.

Factors to consider might be how long the hip is likely to last, whether you will be able to resume sport or activity you liked to do before surgery, the recovery rate and the success rate of a hip. In some instances, the ‘standard’ hip offered might not be the best option for you and you can consider having a ‘custom hip’ made. These hips are ‘made to order’ so they are a more precise fit, usually giving a quicker recovery rate and return to normal levels of activity. Your orthopaedic surgeon will be able to advise you on your options. Symbios Orthopaedics work with many of the leading surgeons in the UK and you’ll find a full list of them HERE.


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